Travelers won’t face any changes until the end of a transition period. Many aspects of what will come after remain unclear
So it’s finally here. Three and a half years after the referendum and the UK is leaving the European Union. Despite all the confusion related to the event, travelers and holidaymakers to and from the UK won’t have to be concerned during the first few months. However, the year 2021 and onwards still bring a lot of uncertainty regarding travel.
Until the end of 2020, there will be a transition period and it won’t have any effect on the rules currently in place. Once this period is over, there are hopes for setting up new trade deals, security arrangements and immigration laws. As the UK and EU cannot by law start with negotiations until February, traveling after the transition is still unclear.
Last year in April, the European Council and Parliament have agreed that “UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa-free travel,” as per its official website.
“The transition period, which kicks off from 1 February, will mean that travel between the UK and Europe will stay exactly the same until 31 December 2020,” said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. “You won’t need a visa or six months left on your passport or evidence of a return ticket.”
There are plans for the UK to join ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) but it is not yet sure whether the new system will be operational then. It would mean UK citizens could travel visa-free to the Schengen area as long as they pay a fee of €7.
They may also be required to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing and show proof of sufficient funds and a return ticket.
The end of free roaming and easy pet travel?
According to the official government website, travelers will be impacted by the end of free roaming: “From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.”
It also states users cannot be charged more than £45 without their consent.
When bringing their own vehicle abroad, travelers will have to request a green card from the insurance company up to a month before travel.
Pet travel will be affected as well as the existing pet passport travel system will not be available anymore. Instead, travelers must follow a different procedure taking up to four months.